Increasing Covid infection is likely to push more people to intensive care units in Australia’s Queensland in the next 24 hours, the state’s chief health officer has warned.
The accelerating rate of Covid-19 cases after the borders reopened meant it was inevitable that more people would wind up in ICUs, Dr John Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
Although only one man was in intensive care on Saturday, Gerrard noted that the state’s doctors warned him that the intensive care situation would quickly change.
“As of last night, we still only had one man in the intensive care unit of one of our hospitals. He is not on a ventilator, and I spoke to one of his doctors last night and he was improving,” Gerrard said.
“However, I’m also led to believe by doctors in hospitals that we are likely to see additional admissions to intensive care in this next 24-hour period.”
Gerrard said even though the majority of people contracting Covid-19 would experience acean illness like the flu”, others “will still get seriously ill”.
“We must not underplay how severe this disease can be, and hence the increased need for masks indoors,” he said.
In just 12 hours on Friday, 2,266 Covid-19 cases were reported in Queensland, the report said.
On Saturday, Gerrard and Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced masks would be compulsory indoors, except where people were eating or drinking.
“I think the main thing is that if you are indoors and you are in doubt, wear a mask,” Gerrard said.
In the previous 24 hours, 149 people were in Queensland hospitals with Covid-19.
“Of those, doctors report they are treating 80 people in the wards with Covid-19,” Gerrard said.
He added that there was an increase in Covid-19 hospital care in the previous 24 hours.
“There does seem to be an increasing demand in the wards for the treatment of Covid-19 as we move more and more people who are relatively well into alternative accommodation or into their homes.”
As on January 1, Australia reported 35,326 new cases of Covid, setting a new record, while Queensland recorded 2,266 cases, a new record for daily case numbers. There is currently one person in ICU and 80 people in hospital.